Being aware and taking preventive measures does not equal being afraid – it can be done as casually as one looks both ways before crossing a street. No one can guarantee our safety, just as no one can guarantee your good health. However, just as walking and running improve your chances of enjoying good health, the ThinkSafe Defensive System can improve our chances of staying safe.
Defensive Mindset: Two Principles
1. Pro-active vs. Reactive: Regarding violence, an ounce of prevention is worth ten tons of cure. ThinkSafe doesn’t just emphasize the physical skills of reaction; it teaches specific tactics and strategies to avoid a problem before it happens.
2. Defend vs. Defeat: It may not always be possible for a woman to physically disable a male attacker. Fortunately, it may not always be necessary, either. Defending ones’ self may be as simple as recognizing pre-assault behavior, and taking evasive action. ThinkSafe teaches women to recognize violent intentions before they become violent actions.
Predatory Mindset: The Three Steps to an Attack
Predators will typically:
1. Assess a potential victim’s vulnerability, or perceived willingness or ability to resist.
2. Approach with some kind of “harmless” verbal contact, social invitation, or other testing of personal boundaries.
3. Attack, if confident of success.
ThinkSafe Defensive Sequence
1. Awareness is as important in self-defense, as “early detection” is in the treatment and prevention of disease.
In every woman’s daily routine, there are specific times and places of greater risk, and there are times and places of lesser risk.By being aware of your surroundings, potential threats, potential escape routes, and other tactical options, you not only will have a better chance of avoiding an attack, you will appear less vulnerable to a predator’s assessment. Learn to identify the riskier situations, develop safe habits, take actions to minimize the potential danger, and formulate plans for specific defensive tactics, if needed.
2. Avoidance is the next step in the defensive sequence.
It’s cliché to talk about “women’s intuition,” but most women have a highly developed awareness of non-verbal communication. ThinkSafe encourages women not only to “trust their gut feelings,” but helps them develop specific avoidance strategies for each of the specific situations identified in the awareness training. Once aware of a threat, a woman can take powerful preventive actions to avoid a physical attack. Have a plan and a backup plan. Be assertive, if approached in a suspicious or threatening manner. Remember, “no” is a complete sentence. Go with a friend, if possible. At night, try to avoid unlit, secluded areas. If you run or walk the same route on the same day of the week at the same time, a predator can anticipate where you’ll be and when you’ll be there. Vary your route, if possible. These are just a few examples of avoidance strategies.
3. Acceptance of the potential threat in a given situation empowers a woman to act decisively and effectively.
Most attackers will exhibit certain behaviors (see pre-assault cues), if they are about to attack. Many women perceive these signs, but hesitate to take action. Trust your intuitions, and be prepared to accept the fact that you might be in danger. Once a threat is perceived, and attempts to avoid it have been unsuccessful, a woman must avoid the common pitfall of wishful thinking. Human nature is such that we will often make illogical decisions in order to avoid unpleasant realities. If an attacker threatens an intended victim with a knife, saying, “Come with me and I won’t hurt you,” should the victim comply? No. Never agree to go to a second location. Acceptance of the unpleasant reality of the situation is the foundation for an appropriate self-defense action.
4. Action is the natural outcome of the ThinkSafe Defensive Sequence.
Whether it entails striking vital targets, verbally de-fusing, escaping from a grab, involving bystanders, shouting, using a weapon, taking cover beneath or behind an object, running away, blowing a whistle, or any combination of these tactics, an intended victim has options and should be empowered to take action as necessary. Do everything you can to be an un-cooperative victim. Your attacker can give up, you cannot. ThinkSafe encourages women to identify what they might be fighting for (themselves, their families, their freedom, whatever survival and safety might mean to an individual), and tap into the power that can generate. Everyone has a survival instinct, and ThinkSafe helps women connect with theirs in an individually genuine way. If a woman chooses to fight an attacker, ThinkSafe offers simple, practical, proven physical techniques, and the mindset needed to do so.
Learn to apply these preventive tactics by force of habit. Remember: Being aware and taking preventive measures does not equal being afraid – it can be done as casually as one looks both ways before crossing a street.